A live-action Witcher TV series is coming to Netflix
It’s no secret that video game movies haven’t had a lot of luck at the box office, but that isn’t stopping producers and studios from trying to adapt them. And while the big screen hasn’t been the most hospitable format for game adaptation, the small screen may hold the key.
Netflix is currently preparing a live-action adaptation of The Witcher, with the goal of turning it into an ongoing series. Technically, the Netflix series will adapt the books from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski rather than the games, but the CD Projekt RED titles are arguably far better known to American audiences. In other words, this is still a game adaptation, even if it is sourcing the books.
The series will be overseen by Sean Daniel and Jason Brown, along with Tomek Baginski and Jarkek Sawko. The Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning Baginski will also direct at least one episode of the show. The group originally purchased the rights to the property with the plan on turning it into a series of movies, but plans change, and the focus is now on a small screen adaptation.
“The Witcher stories follow an unconventional family that comes together to fight for truth in a dangerous world,” said Daniel and Brown in the press release. “The characters are original, funny and constantly surprising and we can’t wait to bring them to life at Netflix, the perfect home for innovative storytelling.”
The original Witcher series consists of several books, including novels and short story collections. The TV show will loosely adapt that collection, and Sapkowski will serve as a consulting producer. While the author is reportedly proud of the success of the games, according to IGN he doesn’t actually receive any royalties from the sales. He did receive a one-time payment, but beyond that the game series has been out of his control. CD Projekt RED’s titles have borrowed heavily from the original source material, but this will give the author a chance to really expand his original vision to a wider audience.
“There is a moral and intellectual depth in these books which goes beyond genre,” Baginski and Sawko wrote. “It is a story about today and today’s challenges, hidden under a fantasy cover. It is a story about us, about the monster and the hero inside all of our hearts.”
Details on the series haven’t been announced yet. Casting news should come in the near future, but don’t expect a release date for a while.
The Witcher isn’t the only video game property heading for the small screen either. Electronic Arts’ Battlefield TV series is on the way, Ubisoft has the Rabbids series, and others are in some stage of development. With Netflix behind it, however, there’s a good chance The Witcher might be the one to finally breaks through and offers a legit, live-action video game adaptation that doesn’t suck.